Identifying the Social Urban Spatial Structure of Vulnerability: Towards Climate Change Equity in Bogotá

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Identifying the Social Urban Spatial Structure of Vulnerability: Towards Climate Change Equity in Bogotá


  • Vasco Barbosa Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia / proMetheus, Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Portugal / Department of Sociology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Mónica Marcela Suárez Pradilla Department of Civil Engineering, Colombian School of Engineering Julio Garavito, Colombia


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Abstract:  The constant modification of land use, economic instability, environmental factors, and social behaviour changes among the inhabitants of big cities characterize current urbanism. In Colombia, land-use planning processes supported by geographical information systems are a recent phenomenon and the legal instruments of spatial planning are inadequate in most municipalities. Moreover, socio-spatial equity represents a challenge for Latin American cities in which there is increasing awareness of the role that spatial planning plays. Consequently, the question arises as to how the urban spatial structure and organization contribute to an inclusive and equitable socio-spatial evolution, considering climate change impacts. The case study analysed in this article focuses upon the northern limits of the city of Bogotá. Therefore, this research aims to define the ideal balance of urban land-use distribution between social stratum classification and the vulnerability of the communities seeking to better adapt to climate change. We propose a methodological approach of analysing spatial syntax and the (social) intensity of activities and infrastructure, which enables us to characterize the urban structure itself and identify vulnerable urban instances. As a result, we find that the urban network with low values presents spatial unpredictability in its pattern, constraining equitable development based on the urban morphology of the city. This research allows us to conclude that the degree of vulnerability encountered by the social urban spatial structure is higher in expansion areas than in central areas of the city.

Keywords:  Bogotá; climate change; social space; spatial vulnerability; urban morphology; urban structure

Published:   16 December 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v6i4.4630


© Vasco Barbosa, Mónica Marcela Suárez Pradilla. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.